30th Annual Naturalization Ceremony to Welcome Over 400 New U.S. Citizens at Seattle Center, Today

30th Annual Naturalization Ceremony to Welcome Over 400 New U.S. Citizens at Seattle Center, Today

The Ethnic Heritage Council hosts the 30th Annual Naturalization Ceremony at Seattle Center, from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., on Friday, July 4, 2014. Over 400 candidates, from more than 80 countries, will be sworn in by The Honorable Richard C. Tallman, U.S. Circuit Court Judge, as new citizens of the United States of America.

Produced by the Ethnic Heritage Council, Seattle Center, United States District Court for the Western District of Washington and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, this is by far one of the most meaningful and moving Fourth of July events in the region. While it is an especially important day for the many new citizens, coming from a variety of nations and cultures, it arouses great interest among friends and families as well as from the community at large. The Naturalization Ceremony also serves to reaffirm the deeper meaning of citizenship of the United States. The public is encouraged to attend the free event.

The ceremony includes speeches by U.S. Representative Jim McDermott and King County Executive Dow Constantine. Seattle City Mayor Ed Murray serves as Master of Ceremonies.

Greenwood Concert Band will give a pre-ceremony performance beginning at 11 a.m. The formal program begins at 12 p.m., commencing with the presentation of colors by the United States Army Color Guard and the singing of the United States National Anthem, immediately followed by a performance from Native American performers Gene Tagaban, Peter Ali and Swil Kanim. A musical treasure of our Pacific Northwest, Total Experience Gospel Choir, directed by Patrinell Wright, will also perform during the ceremony. All countries represented will be announced and the eldest applicant for citizenship will be introduced. Children of the World will lead the new citizens in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance for their first time.

Each year, the Ethnic Heritage Council honors a naturalized citizen who has made outstanding contribution to his or her adopted country, the U.S.A., while maintaining his or her ethnic heritage. Congressman Jim McDermott will present the 2014 "Spirit of Liberty Award" to Danish-American Jens Lund.

30th Annual Naturalization Ceremony is produced by the Ethnic Heritage Council, a non-profit organization formed in 1980, Seattle Center, United States District Court for the Western District of Washington and United States Department of Homeland Security. Proudly sponsored by Seattle Center, United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, City of Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, University Lions Club Foundation, Seattle International District Rotary Club, Seattle Post #1-American Legion, and supported by Tulalip Tribes Charitable Fund and The Seattle Foundation. Since its inception, the Council has worked to promote inter-ethnic communication and cultural preservation in the Northwest.

Pictured: Annual Naturalization Ceremony 2013, Seattle Center. Photo by Jal. Visit: www.pbase.com/jal.

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